Bad and Good Reasons for Not Wanting Bustamante as Governor

As Atrios points out [*], the fact that Cruz Bustamante was a member of MEChA as a college student isn’t really much of a reason not to vote for him.

(Here’s the slimeball from Fox News. That the story seems to have been timed to help keep the Schwarzenegger mess off the airwaves is, of course, merely speculation on my part. Glenn Reynolds did his bit to spread the word that MEChA consisted of “fascist hatemongers,” [*] but, as is so often the case with Glenn, when you follow the link you discover that the source material doesn’t support the hysteria. MEChA, like most student nationalist groups, has a bunch of silly ideas, but none of them, even as represented by MEChA’s critics, seems to involve either fascism or hate-mongering.)

Since he belonged to MEChA thirty years ago, Bustamante has generated a substantial public record, and as far as I can tell there’s not a single thing in it that suggests he hates anybody.

On the other hand, Bustamante’s support for gasoline prince controls [*] is an excellent reason to vote against him. Does he have fond memories of lines at gasoline pumps? This is really bad news for California Democrats, and for California. Not that this dimwit idea has a snowball’s chance in Hell of becoming law, but the fact that the man who looked a minute ago like the least bad alternative we had either

(1) doesn’t understand basic economics or

(2) does understand, and is deliberately misleading the voters

could hardly be more depressing.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: